April 11, 2015
- Spring is finally upon us and we’re hard at work on our forthcoming MOMS issue! In the lead up to the release, we’re asking readers to fill out our anonymous Open Secrets Survey. We want to hear all about your mom or mother figure, and we want to hear about being a parent: the good, the bad, and the unexpected. We’ll be sharing all the best answers on the blog in conjunction with the release of our spring issue. We can’t wait to hear from you!
- The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a new report on Toronto’s living wage. Since 2008, costs of childcare have risen by 30 percent, rent by 13 percent, and transit by 36 percent. And so, the minimum living wage for two parents living with two children in Toronto has risen to $18.52 each. Read more about how CCPA calculated this amount here.
- CBC News has launched a database profiling over 230 murdered and missing Indigenous women and continues to gather information about this ongoing crisis. Many of the families interviewed by CBC were highly critical of the investigations being led by Canadian police departments , investigations that often identify victims as living “high-risk” (read stigmatized) lifestyles. Community-driven inquiries into these unresolved cases, like the now underfunded Sisters in Spirit research campaign and database, are incredibly important especially when, as Pam Palmater explains, the 2014 RCMP report on MMIW really got it wrong.
- On Saturday April 4, Michael Thomas Slager, a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, shot and killed Walter Scott after pulling him over for a broken tail light. Scott was unarmed and black. Although Slager lied about what happened, the incident was caught on video and Slager has been charged with first degree murder. Brittney Cooper explains why this terrible tragedy won’t change White America’s mind:
In this cultural climate, it will take, it seems, an ocean of Black bodies to convince white people that structural racism is a problem. Therefore, I am not convinced in this moment that this video means anything. We watched Eric Garner die on video. We watched Tamir Rice die on video. The officers who killed both of them are free. Black people have no reason to trust that video evidence will lead to any significantly different outcome in the case of Michael Slager…The whole damn system is guilty as hell.
- Have you read Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s profile of Toni Morrison yet? I’ve read it twice and there are so many potential excerpts you should just go ahead and read the whole thing for yourself right now.
- Check out the first instalment of Laura Shepard’s series on transitioning in Halifax: “Breaking Dad”
- “It’s all lumpy. It’s all performed. It’s all real.” As lovers of I Love Dick, we were quite pleased to see Leslie Jamison writing about the brilliant and challenging work of Chris Kraus: “This Female Consciousness.”
- In September 2012, journalist Laura Robinson obtained eight signed affidavits alleging that former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong had abused Aboriginal children while teaching in Burns Lake, BC. Since publishing these allegations, forty-five people have come forward to say they suffered or witnessed Furlong’s abuse. Although charges of sexual abuse brought against Furlong were recently dropped, Michael Stewart at Rabble reminds us that we have to ask how someone could convince forty-five people to lie about what happened. Unlike the media’s response to Jesse Brown’s exposé of Ghomeshi, writes Stewart, “Canada’s legacy media clamoured to the defence of a good ol’ Canadian boy and ensured that the woman who challenged the status quo was punished.” Read the rest of this story here.
- “We speak of rape culture as though it is something separate from the neo-liberal state, as though the state can save us from it through punishing and incarcerating dangerous men (an alleged solution which, in terms of the number of rapists being charged let alone convicted, is far from being realized). This narrow viewpoint, however, paints over the fact that the state and the prison system themselves are not only perpetrators of rape culture; they are master architects of it.” Read Kelly Rose Pflug-Back’s important piece over at the Feminist Wire on sexual violence and the capitalist state.
- “My dad was not a monster. He had a monster inside, and although there is probably little difference to his victims, it’s made a difference to me. I don’t condone what he did, but I do feel the one thing I sense you’re never supposed to feel for a sexual violator: compassion.” A difficult and powerful personal essay by Liz Prato via The Butter: “On Abuse and the People We Love”
- The feminist porn awards are happening in Toronto this week! Not sure what feminist porn is really? Carlyle Jensen gives us a quick breakdown on what healthy and ethical and enjoyable porn can look like, and if you haven’t done so already, check out Maddy Macnab’s review of Spit Magazine: “Happy People Fucking.”
- And finally, Hannah Giorgis on Rihanna and the radical power of the “Carefree Black Girl” celebrity: “Everything she does raises the question ‘can I live?’— and simultaneously lets you know she decided a long time ago the only acceptable answer is yes. This is Rihanna’s world, and you better believe she calls the shots.”